Mr. Bison Goes to Washington

The North Dakota State University Bison football team is going to Washington, D.C. What an honor. Now, if only…

Graphic of a crumbling White House that will host NDSU Bison football team.

If Only They Were Going to Be Greeted by a Fellow Champion

NDSU’s football team is going to Washington, D.C. Good for them. If any athlete or sports team deserves it, the Bison do. Fifteen national titles and seven of the last eight. Wow.

No matter who the president is, being invited to the White House is an honor.

Or so someone recently pointed out. Made my skin crawl at first. But I’ve come around.

I only wish they were going to meet a more honorable person.

I only wish they were going to meet someone who was more like them.

I only wish they were going to be greeted by a fellow champion.

The NDSU football teams I’ve cheered for and watched develop over the past 30 plus years have displayed loyalty, hard work, intelligence and modesty. The players, coaches and others associated with the program seem to have embraced, and regularly demonstrate, a strong family mentality. They have each other’s backs, no matter what.

These are not attributes or values that describe President Donald J. Trump.

On the contrary.

Disloyalty

People Trump praises one day he portrays as pariahs the next.

He announces firings on Twitter rather than speaking directly to the employee. He preemptively blasts out false and demonizing hatchet-tweets about team members who are on their way out.

It’s safe to say Trump is quick to blame, slow to take responsibility (if he ever does).

That certainly is not the hallmark of a good leader. It’s unprofessional, is what it is. And as far as having your people’s backs – fuhgeddaboudit.

NDSU athletes take responsibility for themselves and their jobs. You won’t find any Bison players on any field who blame others for mistakes. I’ll bet every one is the first to speak up when they, themselves, have made a mistake. I seriously doubt “blame” or “fault” are even in the lexicon.

Work Ethic?

Bison football players work their asses off. I’ve seen it up close. I have an idea of the extreme commitment it takes for them to be successful on the field, in the weight room and the film room while achieving and maintaining academic success. It’s a 16-hour-a-day job. Plus.

Trump’s idea of hard work just isn’t up to snuff. Not even close.

This guy spends more time on greens than any previous president, sometimes more than many of them combined. And we’re not talking salads here.

Rather than doing the work of the nation, Trump tees off, instead, on golf courses and Twitter. When he’s in Washington, D.C., during the 60 percent of his schedule that’s billed as “executive time,” and when he’s not watching Faux News, Trump’s playing on the room-sized golf simulator he had installed in the White House.

Work ethic? I have one word for you:

Mar-a-Lago.

Intelligence

Ummm… yeah. The self-proclaimed “stable genius” has spoken for himself on this one. So has a football program that’s won 15 national titles. I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s righteous and who’s seriously deluded.

Modesty

Awe, Jeez.

Where to even start with this one?

Anyone who has been awake for the past three plus years, even among the MAGA-#RedHatters, I’d wager, realizes it’s Trump, Trump, Trump, all the time Trump.

If it’s not about Trump, Trump’s not interested. It’s that simple.

In my judgement he’s the most self-centered, self-righteous person ever to be elected president. And that’s saying something when your company is the likes of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

“I am not a crook” and “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Remember?

NDSU athletes, on the other hand, consistently deflect personal credit with praise for their teammates or coaches or fans. It’s not about the individual player, it’s about the team.

It’s not about Trump’s United States. It’s about the United States of America. As a whole. Inclusively. Period.

Number 45 will never, ever get that.

Common Decency

This is a man who has ridiculed disabled people, criticized military heroes, incited crowds to violence, made up and used demeaning names for adversaries publicly and repeatedly, left the people of Puerto Rico in darkness and filth, separated children from their parents for months, and possibly forever in some cases, accepted the support of racist organizations and, some would say, made racist decisions and statements himself. The list goes on and on.

This is no people’s champion. This is not even a decent human being.

Not like Bison players who do so much volunteer work in the community, who lift people up rather than putting them down.

Role Models

Whether it’s fair or not, the Bison – as individuals and as a team – are role models for our community and citizens, young and old.

There are people out there who see Trump as a role model, who apparently want their kids to behave the way he does. It’s unfathomable to me, but they’re out there. WAY out there.

Trump? A role model? Gimme a HEEEE-YOUGE break.

Seems like I’m constantly saying to my kids, “Don’t ever do what the president just did. Be a decent human being.”

On to Washington! (Not to Trump)

There are many more attributes of great Bison players and teams that one could bring up, and many more examples of deviant and unreasonable Trump behavior.

I’m not even going to talk about all the wives and cheating and grabbing women by their vaginas.

But there’s really no need to go further. Not when you’re making comparisons to an individual who is so devoid of integrity.

Truth is there are no comparisons. Apples and oranges. Touchdowns and tweetstorms. Genuine people and a rich man’s caricature.

So, no more of that. Instead, it’s about a trip to our nation’s capital for a team that’s earned it. I’m certain the Bison will represent Fargo and North Dakota well, not to mention my alma mater.

Yes, I’m glad the NDSU football team is being honored.

And, yes, I wish the person they’re going to meet had more honor.

Not to mention more decency, work ethic, modesty, intelligence, self-depreciation….

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© Martin C. Fredricks IV, 2019

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Author: Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, proud Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger and big-time reader. (If you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff.) A ginger, too (ergo the "Red"). At age 50 I'm a newbie to tattoos - I have three now - but the kind artists at the parlor tell me it's never too late. I like hanging out with my best friend, who also happens to be my wife, watching the kids in their academic and athletic activities, writing, hiking and riding my mountain bike.

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